SUN Bucks (Summer EBT) Program

  • This summer, there is a new program called SUN Bucks (Summer EBT), which the U.S. Congress authorized to provide food dollars to low-income families with school-aged children over the summer months. The program is proven to reduce food insecurity and improve children's nutrition during summer break.

    Governor Shapiro’s administration announced that the Commonwealth would participate in this program beginning in the summer of 2024. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) oversees the program, and the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) coordinates the benefit issuance in Pennsylvania.


  • The great news is that some students are automatically eligible for the SUN Bucks (Summer EBT) Program this summer! Your student is automatically eligible if they are enrolled at a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or School Breakfast Program (SBP), AND they qualify for free or reduced-price school meals for any of these reasons:

    1. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or
    2. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or
    3. Medical Assistance with income that qualifies them for the NSLP/SBP, or
    4. Household meal application with income that qualifies, or
    5. Are homeless, runaway, migrant, foster, or in Head Start.

    If your child is automatically eligible for SUN Bucks (Summer EBT) Program, you do not need to do anything else to receive the benefit.

    If you believe your income qualifies (185% or less of the federal poverty level), you can still apply for free or reduced meals through the school (unless your child attends a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school) or apply for the SUN Bucks (Summer EBT) Program through Department of Human Services (DHS). 

    Students who are homeschooled or are taught virtually for 100% of the school year are ineligible for the SUN Bucks (Summer EBT) Program. The only exception is if the child also attends a school building regularly that offers them NSLP and/or SBP school meals.

    SNAP, TANF, and Medical Assistance households that need to update their address with DHS should do so as soon as possible.

Program Application

  • Families should only submit a SUN Bucks (Summer EBT) Program application if their child attended an NSLP and/or SBP-participating school in the 2023-2024 school year and was not found automatically eligible for SUN Bucks.

    SUN Bucks (Summer EBT) Program applications will be available on July 1, 2024, on the DHS SUN Bucks webpage as a fillable PDF form in English and Spanish. DHS will review applications to confirm that the child attended an NSLP and/or SBP school, and that income qualifies for the benefit (185% or less of the federal poverty level). To qualify for SUN Bucks for 2024, an application must be submitted by August 31, 2024.

    Any applications submitted on or after September 1, 2024, will be held and considered only for SUN Bucks for the summer of 2025.

Benefit Issurance

  • For the summer of 2024, a household will receive a $120 SUN Bucks (Summer EBT) Program benefit (which equals $40 for each summer month) for every eligible child in the household.

    The benefit will be issued at the household level, meaning if multiple eligible students are in a household, the benefit will be combined into one issuance amount. The benefit will be issued to the household’s existing state EBT card (for SNAP or TANF) or on a new SUN Bucks card that is mailed, in most cases, to the household contact and address DHS has on file for that household.

    Please note that schools are not able to change this information. If your SNAP, TANF, or Medical Assistance information needs to be updated, contact your County Assistance Office. If the household does not have a SNAP, TANF, or Medical Assistance case with DHS, the address that the school has on file will be used.

    DHS will issue the SUN Bucks (Summer EBT) benefits from late August to September 2024. All benefits should be issued by the end of October 2024. This may seem late for a benefit intended to assist eligible children and families over the summer months. DHS is building new processes and systems to meet USDA guidelines for this new program. Families are asked to be patient and understanding during this implementation year. The intent is for the benefit to be issued earlier in the summer break in future years.

Important Contact Information

  • The DHS County Assistance Offices are the main contact for family support regarding the SUN Bucks (Summer EBT) Program.

    The DHS SUN Bucks (Summer EBT) webpage for families provides information about the benefit, Frequently Asked Questions, the SUN Bucks family application, and an eligibility navigator tool to help families determine if they need to apply.

    The County Assistance Offices can provide family support for all SUN Bucks questions as well as a CAO locator tool

    The Statewide Customer Service Center can be reached by phone at 1-877-395-8930, or 1-215-560-7226 in Philadelphia.

    Please note: DHS asks families not to call the County Assistance Offices or Statewide Customer Service lines regarding not receiving SUN Bucks before the end of August 2024, when almost all the SUN Bucks benefits for automatically eligible children have been issued.

    SNAP, TANF, and Medical Assistance households that need to update their address with DHS should do so as soon as possible.

Benefit Questions and Information

  • Please be aware that schools cannot assist families with SUN Bucks benefit questions. Additionally, schools cannot access the state’s SUN Bucks system or records.